# Dado on the router table

1675 Views 42 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Rebelwork
So you cut a dado with a straight bit on the router table. The board is moved from right to left. Now say that the dado should be wider-- a second pass. You would like the dado wider with meat taken on the far side of the board--the side that was against the fence on the first pass. The board has a live edge, and the only side that can go against the fence is the same side that road the fence in the first place. Question: Do you move the fence closer to the bit for a wider cut; and now do you run that board from left to right so's not to "upcut?" TIA.
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So you cut a dado with a straight bit on the router table. The board is moved from right to left. Now say that the dado should be wider-- a second pass. You would like the dado wider with meat taken on the far side of the board--the side that was against the fence on the first pass. The board has a live edge, and the only side that can go against the fence is the same side that road the fence in the first place. Question: Do you move the fence closer to the bit for a wider cut; and now do you run that board from left to right so's not to "upcut?" TIA.
It would be better to move the fence away from you so the bit wouldn't be climbing and move the wood from right to left. Actually if the part is wide enough it would be better to put a fence on both sides of the board so it's not trying to pull away from the fence.
I am not sure I completely understand your detail so look this over carefully and think it through before you attempt to make any changes. The drawing shows my suggestion, good luck and think it through first.
calabrese55
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If you plow a 1/2" dado, say 2" from the fence and you really want a 3/4" dado, just move the fence 1/4" further back. It's not a climb cut.
It won't climb cut unless you change feed directions. You want to feed against or into the cutter rotation. If you feed with the cutter rotation it will climb.
There's a great site which explains climb cutting very nicely, It's the fifth subject down on the left side:

I will assume you have already made the first cut. If not, plan it so that you move the fence away from you for the second cut.

If you want more wood taken from the side closer to the fence, then yes, a normal right to left feed will be a climb cut on the wood left between the open area of the previously cut dado and the fence. Lower speed and smaller cuts make it easier.

I have done a left to right feed so you get a normal "against the bit rotation" cut. The only problem with that is then the bit is almost trying to pull your workpiece away from the fence, so you have to work against that force.

I have also just taken a few smaller climb cuts to get to my desired width of dado. Then it's still trying to pull the workpiece through, but with a smaller cut it's a bit easier to control.

I have also just used the table saw with a dado blade.

In my opinion, do whatever you feel most comfortable with. Try a few practice cuts with something else.

Good luck and let us know what you decide and how it works out.
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So you cut a dado with a straight bit on the router table. The board is moved from right to left. Now say that the dado should be wider-- a second pass. You would like the dado wider with meat taken on the far side of the board--the side that was against the fence on the first pass. The board has a live edge, and the only side that can go against the fence is the same side that road the fence in the first place. Question: Do you move the fence closer to the bit for a wider cut; and now do you run that board from left to right so's not to "upcut?" TIA.
Does the below diagram accurately illustrate your question? (The cuts are actually hidden in reality)
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I think you’re actually making a groove not a dado, minor point. @calabrese55’s suggestion with shim is excellent. The use of shims and not moving thenfence is a great technique for lots of tasks. As @woodnthings and @sanchez mentioned, if you’re moving the fence away you’re safe.

My comment is based on whether you are taking partial depth cuts vs one shallow groove. In that case when final depth is achieved and you move the fence (or removed the shim 😉) the issue is how to make the second final pass to the exact depth? Not easy to do even with a router lift and height gauge. Sure a router plane will level a groove to depth if you have one.

If I didn’t have a tablesaw or dado I would go at this with a hand held plunge router and fence or guide. And I can see what I’m doing rather than relying on a set up. 😁
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Great diagram Dave!
Responses #3 and #4 will result in the material being removed from the opposite side of the original cut than the OP wishes it to be removed from.
Responses #3 and #4 will result in the material being removed from the opposite side of the original cut than the OP wishes it to be removed from.
If that is the case add the spacer as shown and make the cut with the spacer in place.
calabrese55
Let the horse beating commence...................
I don’t understand why this is complicated?

For this…here are the proper definitions:

• A dado is a U-shaped, square-bottomed channel cut across the grain.
• A groove looks just like a dado, but runs with the grain. A lot of people call a groove a dado I think that’s OK – but imprecise.
• A rabbet is an L-shaped channel cut across or with the grain. A rabbet is always cut on the stock’s edge.
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I don’t understand why this is complicated?
It's not, as long as one understands the parameters of the question.
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Hand held router: Lay your right hand palm down with your thumb touching the edge of the material, your index finger will point in the direction to move the router.

When using a table: Lay your hand palm up and your index finger will point in the way to move material.

In this case edge of material is side of dado that has to enlarged.
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I did my best at drawing all the possibilities moving the fence fore and aft and feeding from left to right and right to left.
I may have left a few out?

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And we have officially moved beyond the parameters of the original question
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...1/2 to 5/8 Move the fence to the right 1/8 After the first 1/2..
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Responses #3 and #4 will result in the material being removed from the opposite side of the original cut than the OP wishes it to be removed from.
I went back and re-read the OP question. Actually I had to read it 3 times because wording was confusing.

I believe you are correct, he's not talking about removing more material from the side farthest as we thought, but the side nearest the fence, IOW moving the fence inward and making the second pass. In that case Option A in your diagram would be correct - feed from left to right.

I agree with @sanchez the best way to do it is start with the farthest side of the cut. But there may be a reason he needs to establish one side of the cut and move outward.

If the OP comes back on, he can clear it up.
I went back and re-read the OP question. Actually I had to read it 3 times because wording was confusing.

I believe you are correct, he's not talking about removing more material from the side farthest as we thought, but the side nearest the fence, IOW moving the fence inward and making the second pass. In that case Option A in your diagram would be correct - feed from left to right.

I agree with @sanchez the best way to do it is start with the farthest side of the cut. But there may be a reason he needs to establish one side of the cut and move outward.

If the OP comes back on, he can clear it up.
Depends on what you are trying to achieve. You can either way..All depend if I’m measuring from the inside or outside..

This isn’t that complicated..
Depends on what you are trying to achieve.
Hopefully the OP has already widened his cut by now and is further along on his project.
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